How do I effectively fine tune the hearing instruments to optimize the patient's listening experience?
Imagine this scenario: Your patient reports satisfaction with her hearing instruments in every listening environment except restaurants and group gatherings, where she would like more gain and less background noise. How do you adjust the hearing instruments to accommodate this request without altering the listening experience in any other environment?
The ReSound Environmental Optimizer II classifies listening environments based on their signal-to-noise ratio and overall sound levels, and allows for fine-tuned gain and noise reduction changes to be made in seven distinct listening environments. These changes occur within a program, meaning the patient does not need to change programs to enjoy environment-specific fine tuned changes.
Some clinicians question when it is appropriate to adjust the Environmental Optimizer II gain sliders versus the NoiseTracker II sliders. A helpful way to think of the difference is that the gain sliders affect the overall loudness of all sounds, while the NoiseTracker II sliders more specifically target non-speech, noiselike sounds.
Environmental Optimizer II can also be useful for patients who have bothersome tinnitus in quiet environments. Adjusting the noise reduction sliders to 0 for quiet and soft speech disables noise reduction, which helps decrease the contrast of the client's tinnitus to the external sound.
Another example is for patients with severe hearing loss who do not need or desire noise reduction except for listening comfort in loud, noisy situations such as traffic. In this case, NoiseTracker II sliders can be set to 0 for all environments except loud noise, where the slider might be adjusted for more noise reduction.
Tammara Stender, Au.D., CCC-A is a Senior Audiologist at GN ReSound, where she plans and conducts clinical trials for newly developed hearing aid technology and prepares documentation for released products. Her research interests include hearing aid benefit and satisfaction, the occlusion effect and spatial localization abilities with hearing aids. She received her Master of Science degree from Vanderbilt University, and her Doctor of Audiology degree from the University of Florida.
Learn more about ReSound at www.gnresound.com or on the ReSound web channel